Welcome to Aulani – the Disney resort in Hawaii, located in Ko Olina on the island of Oahu. If you’re worried that the resort might not have the Disney magic you’ve come to expect from the theme park resorts – you’re wrong. It has all the Disney magic AND more, making you feel like you’re in a paradise all your own!
One aspect of the Disney resorts that has made it’s way from the mainland to Aulani is character dining. The buffet restaurant at the resort, Makahiki, is the setting of two character dining experiences and features a wonderful buffet. We’ve eaten there for breakfast and dinner multiple times on our two trips, and when we go back, I’ll certainly be dining there again!
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One of the benefits of Hawaii’s proximity to Asia is the inclusion of Asian cuisine at the Aulani buffets! In addition to American favorites like scrambled eggs, Mickey waffles (when we went, they even had Red Velvet Iron Man waffles!) and bacon and sausage, they also offer Asian breakfast fare. You can find steamed rice, miso soup, friend rice and of course, nishime!
As you’re eating your meal, you’re visited by Disney characters. You first meet Mickey on your way in, stopping to take a photo with him with a Photopass photographer. You’re then visited by a variety of Disney friends like Goofy, Chip, Dale, and Pluto. Aunty is a performer who leads the kids in song and dance with the characters, so if you have little ones this is a must do!
It’s around $40 for the buffet for each adult and $20 for kids, so be sure you get your money’s worth and load up your plate multiple times! You also have the option of purchasing a CD with all the Photopass pictures you received when you checked in with Mickey. If you’re not taking advantage of the Photopass at Aulani, it might be a better value to purchase the CD because you get ALL the pictures.
“Menehune Mischief” Character Dinner
Very similar to the character breakfast, this time it’s Uncle who is leading the party with Disney friends this time. This dining show is a little bit more in depth in terms of props and story, but it still features the same elements as the breakfast. Uncle tells the story of the Menehune, little jokesters in Hawaiian folklore, while incorporating Disney characters. As you might have suspected, Chip and Dale fit in PERFECTLY with this theme 😉 I’ve also heard that sometimes Stitch makes an appearance although we were not so lucky when we went!
The food selection is phenomenal at the dinner buffet. American favorites like barbecue chicken, macaroni and cheese, pasta and more are the highlight, with some other fun additions like crab legs (already cracked for you!) There’s of course a soup and salad bar, as well as Hawaiian favorites like poi. Finally, sample some of the Asian features, including fresh sushi! Don’t forget to swing back for dessert, which has cakes, cookies, pudding and chocolate covered marshmallows!
A delicious selection of alcoholic drinks are also available for the adults. I highly recommend the pina coladas!
To book the Menehune Mischief show, simply make a reservation for one of the nights the show is scheduled for. Currently, it’s Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays – be sure to check the site as sometimes these nights can change. So, to book the show, simply reserve your dinner for one of those nights and you’ll automatically get to access it!
For adults the buffet dinner is $53 with the show, and $26 for children.
On nights when there is no Menehune Mischief show, there is just a basic dinner buffet. The same food can be found on the buffet as the character dining. The only real difference? There are no characters greeting you at your table this go around. Because there isn’t a show, it’s about $4 cheaper to do this option – which may end up saving money depending on how many people are in your party! If you don’t want to see the show or don’t care for characters, be sure to make a reservation for one of the nights that does not feature the Menehune Mischief show.
If you’re looking for casual dining where you can eat till your heart’s content, then Makahiki is the restaurant for you. What’s your favorite Character experience at Aulani? Let me know in the comments below!